By Sandra Kraisirideja
This week is a mixed bag in terms of movies that caught my eye. From the faith-based “Heaven is for Real” to the foreign independent “Tasting Menu,” the movies that peaked my interest have both interesting stories and appealing stars.
Inspired by the New York Times bestseller of the same name, “Heaven is for Real” tells the story of a father who must decide if he is going to share his son’s experience in the after-life with the world. Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear leads a mostly unknown cast, with the exception of Thomas Haden Church and Margo Martindale, in a movie that looks inspiring and heartfelt. It’s the kind of role that Kinnear excels at and newcomer Connor Corum, looks like he holds his own in every scene.
Another movie that takes on questions of morality and faith, albeit from a technological perspective, is “Transcendence.” The movie presents the implications of what the world might look like if artificial intelligence is created and then allowed to run free. With executive producers Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas—the team behind “Inception”—there are bound to be some nifty special effects mixed in with some earnest contemplation on man’s role in evolution. Having Johnny Depp play the role of the scientist who is downloaded into a hi-tech processing server is an added bonus. Its been a long time since Depp played a regular guy that didn’t need a lot of special effects makeup.
John Turturro and Woody Allen team up for a buddy movie for the senior citizen-set in “Fading Gigolo.” The premise has all the makings of a wacky screwball comedy, but Turturro—serving as writer and director—fills the movie with a lot of tenderness and sincerity. “Fading Gigolo” also happens to be the AWFJ Movie of the Week.
Finally, every foodie will want to see “Tasting Menu,” from Spanish director Roger Gual, which is reminiscent of “Babbette’s Feast” in that it revolvs around one amazing meal. In “Tasting Menu” the meal is at the best restaurant in the world on its final night before it shuts its doors. The evening is told through the eyes of the patrons, including a married couple who are going through a separation.